Tuesday, 20 April 2010

On reading Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.

When the moonlight becomes unbearable
Dazzling with its uncanny brilliance, this moon
is the moon which torments Pontius Pilate
Who hopes to meet Yeshua soon.

Sometimes when the moon looks at the world just so
You know that Pontius Pilate thinks of Yeshua for
eternity without respite. Night engulfs the earth
and silence is overwhelming, interspersed with mirth.
Satan and his minions enjoy their dominions
And somewhere Death dies, followed by a birth.

Where does goodness lie? Does it lie within?
Is reason no treason and irrationality a sin?
Revolution is just a word. As is imagination.
Born out of necessity, born for the nation.
Nation? asked the Master, what dirty word is that?
I have seen Satan and his servant-jester cat.
Yet they ask for stories and the triumph of good
Life has no moral, why question whether it should?

So many young homeless poets have met
Satan, gone mad, and yet
dream of Pontius in their sedated sleep
Sleep that is disturbed and yet so deep
That in the morning when they awaken
They do not remember, though they are shaken.

Revolution. Where does that happen? Who will
take the burden of it? In the deathly still
Pontius dreams of Yeshua at night
For two thousand years, always out of sight.
Who will take the burden of revolution? He who writes
Can be ensured some peace, despite the disturbed nights.

For every Master has a devoted Margarita, evil witch in disguise
wracked with devotion, a nameless guilt and wretched surprise
Who witnesses havoc and the guilt of sin
Who knows guilt lies wherein?
The price that one has to pay for one's conviction
Can only be paid through some lies called fiction.

**************

Revolution. Is a word. Sometimes it becomes a mere laugh.
At first perhaps soothing and mild.
Then it gains momentum
It becomes wild.
It cares not for any privilege, nor any earthly prize
It has no Margarita in thin and subtle disguise.
This then becomes a real revolution
The positing of a new, not ethical solution.

***************

I promise I shall not write any more poems! cried Ivan Nikaloyevich
I am a bad poet. The Master said, manuscripts don't burn.
In the asylum, the dispossessed poets who have seen Satan
sleep after sedation. Sometimes learn
that at times Margarita returns, Yeshua permits, Satan
escorts one to one's final place of rest
Mastering no art but the heart
For what art can one know best?

****************

Imagination, shrieked Behemoth, the tom cat
who smoked cigars and rode street cars
Imagination helps us transcend
And reach, reach some sort of end.
Or did he not say it at all?
Yet it is true that Pontius dreams
of Yeshua for two thousand years.
Where there is conviction
Where there are tears
And laughter. Where there is death and life.
In short, where there is contradiction
There there is imagination
fantasy, and love.
It is there we build fiction.

3 comments:

Holy Ghost said...

Brilliant.

Jadis said...

Ami stump-ito. orthaat Stumped. this is ameeeezing ekdom!!

逸凡逸凡 said...

無一事而不學,無一時而不學,無一處而不學。 ..................................................